How Can Your Hiring Process Go Wrong?


HR Practices

You already know that talent is the number one competitive advantage of your organization. But without a good hiring process bringing in a steady flow of talent to the company, that competitive advantage won’t last for long. Problems with the hiring process eventually become problems for the organization itself, and over time can bring down even the strongest company.

With this article, we’re going to go over a few of the problems that can hurt a hiring process, as well as a few of the things you can do to solve these problems. A good hiring process is all about defining what you want in a candidate, figuring out how to get it, and then getting it. Now, when you say it that way it sounds all too simple. Let’s get to the details of how it’s done.

  1. You Don’t Have Clear Hiring Goals

Plenty of hiring teams decides to go with their gut in the hiring process. This can sound like a good idea, but getting the right hire is about more than finding the person who seems like the right fit. It’s about finding the candidate who has the right combination of hard and soft skills to fit the unique role at hand.

That’s why it’s important to start the hiring process by identifying the core competencies and skills you absolutely must have from the right candidate. This includes hard skills since an accountant is always going to need to know accounting and a web developer will always need to know to program, but it also includes soft skills.

So as you’re identifying the core competencies you need, remember to identify things like cultural fit and personality. And remember: cultural fit goes beyond things like company values. Every office and workplace is different. A person who would thrive in one work environment might struggle in another. Ideally, you want to hire a person who has the skills and the personality type to thrive in the specific work environment you’re hiring for. That’s why it’s so crucial for you to start the hiring process by identifying the specific skills you need from the right candidate.

  1. You Don’t Plan Targeted Interview Questions

Now that you’ve identified the skills you’re looking for, the next step is to come up with a set of interview questions that will help your hiring team determine whether or not the candidates being interviewed really have those skills. You do this by asking targeted questions.

Plenty of hiring teams are untrained, and some don’t want to bother with planning an interview in depth. But unless you have a plan in place for figuring out which candidates have the skills you’re looking for, you only have a wish list, not a plan to get a great hire.

So, what’s the best way to know whether or not the candidate has the skills you need? The biggest indicator of future performance is the past performance, so you need to plan behavioral and performance-based questions for your interviews. These are questions where you ask the candidate about times in the past where they have demonstrated this-or-that skill.

With behavioral and performance-based questions planned in advance, you’ve set the foundation for a strong interview. Your interviewers may still need to ask further questions to draw more information out of the candidate, but by planning in advance you make the whole process much easier and more effective. 

  1. You Don’t Build Objectivity into Your Interview Process

Businesses often prepare for an objective hiring and interview process, only to end up going with the candidate who seems the most likable. Or else they hire based on a hunch instead of keeping their interview process objective and targeted at bringing in the best candidate.

Well, what’s wrong with that? The problem is that the best candidate may not necessarily be the most likable of the candidates, or they might not be at their best in an interview situation. Remember: the hiring process is about getting the right candidate for the job, not necessarily the candidate with the best interview skills.

All this means you need to build objectivity in the interview process. Have your interviewers score your candidates on each of the skills you’ve identified. You could use a scale from one to ten, or one to five. The point is that you have your interviewers rank the candidates on each of the skills individually.

Then when you add the scores up, you have an objective measure of how well each candidate fills all your needs. The idea is that when you compare scores across candidates, it will make it easy to choose one as the best. This makes it much easier to pick out the candidate who can best fill your position. 

  1. You Haven’t Talked to an Expert for Your Most Important Hires

The hiring and interview process is all about finding the right candidate for your position. If your business is showing any of the signs of a broken hiring process, it may be time to talk to an expert. A skilled recruiter deals with the problems of hiring and interviewing on a daily basis.

Whether it’s a matter of helping your business through a few crucial hires or working as a partner with your business through multiple positions, the right recruiter can help ensure you get the right people for your position.

A skilled recruiter can also help refine your hiring process, starting with a strategy call to help you define your hiring goals and moving along the process until you make the final hiring decision. Maybe you’ll want to work with a recruiter on a regular basis, and maybe you won’t. But working with the right recruiter can help you master the hiring process.

If you suspect you have problems with your hiring process and have important hires to make, consider talking to a recruiter. With the knowledge and skills that come from facing hiring problems every day, you’d be surprised what you can learn from a good recruiter.

Author Bio

Jeffrey Audette is the President of VMG Recruiting.

With over 25 years of experience in recruiting, Jeff has partnered with small, medium, and Fortune 500 firms, helping them to find the talent they need.

You can learn more at or contact Jeff at


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